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Firearms Instructor FAQ

What is a business organization?

A business organization is any business for profit or not-for-profit.

What is a government entity?

A government entity is the state or any political subdivision.

How do I register my business organization? 

You must register your business with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. For information on how to register your business organization follow the link:

How do I obtain a “stamped copy of proof of filing?”

The Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office will provide this to any person who registers his or her business organization with them. For further information contact the SOS’s office at:

Business Services Public Counter:
60 Empire Dr.
Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55103
(Staffed 8:00 - 4:00, Monday - Friday, excluding holidays)

Telephone Information Lines:
(Staffed 9:00 – 4:00, Monday – Friday, excluding holidays)

Public Information:
Greater MN toll free: 1-877-551-6767
Fax: 651-297-7067


What constitute instructor records adequate to verify training?

At a minimum, a record would include the certified instructor’s name, mailing address, phone number and date of certification.

How long must the business organization maintain these records?

It is recommended that the records be maintained as long as the instructor remains certified by the organization, but a minimum of five (5) years.

How do business organizations maintain proficiency and integrity of their certified instructors?

Organizations may enlist any number of methods that may include periodic curriculum review, testing, continuing education, recertification or any other method to evaluate and monitor instructional practices and integrity.

What should the curriculum contain?

The curriculum shall include a lesson plan that, at a minimum, includes the course syllabus, goals, objectives, lesson outlines and training certifications.

What do I need to teach instructors for them to receive certification?

A business organization must teach all of the elements listed under the Instructor Certification Requirements.

I was a certified instructor in 2003. Am I certified now?

No. All previously certified instructors must be recertified in accordance with the Department of Public Safety’s 2005 standards.

After October 1, 2005, who will be able to certify instructors?

Only those business organizations approved by the Department of Public Safety will be able to certify instructors.

Will DPS be certifying instructors?

No. The Department is required to set standards for business organizations or government entities wishing to certify instructors.

I am a NRA instructor. Can I continue to teach?

Yes. If you become a business organization approved by the Department of Public Safety or if you are certified by one of the department’s approved business organizations, you may continue to teach.

Must an attorney teach the legal aspects of pistol possession, carry, and use, including self-defense and the restrictions on the use of deadly force?

No. Instructors certified by an organization approved by the Department of Public Safety may teach this aspect of the basic training or have a competent individual provide the instruction.

What are the psychological and physiological effects of a violent threat encounter?

Those effects include the cognitive, sensory and physical reactions to the effects of a violent threat encounter.

Can I be both the business organization and the certified instructor?

Yes. However, you must be approved by the Department of Public Safety as an instructor organization.  

Can I certify myself as an instructor? 

Yes. However, you must be approved by the Department of Public Safety as an instructor organization. 

Questions or comments about the standards may be directed to Josh Florell at or 651-793-1051.